Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Story Behind "Danny's Wish"

Ever wonder what the story was behind "Danny's Wish"? If so, then read below and your question will be answered :)

Danny is a fun loving energetic 12-year-old boy, who likes to play basketball, enjoys watching hockey games, loves the movie Shrek, and will eat ketchup with just about anything! This little Boyscout also enjoys swimming, painting, going to concerts and will never pass up an opportunity to play catch with you.

Danny is also Autistic.

Like many other children, Danny struggles with Autism, a developmental disability that too often results in a lifetime of impaired thinking, feeling and social functioning. It typically affects a person's ability to communicate, form relationships with others and respond appropriately to the external world. People with the condition often exhibit repetitive behavior or narrow, obsessive interests. Other characteristics of Autism include problems with verbal and nonverbal communication and social interaction. It is considered a “spectrum disorder” because the characteristics and symptoms of the disorder are so very unique to each case.

Danny has a very unique characteristic all his own, and that is his ability to light up a room with his amazing smile. Despite his disability, he is eager and excited to experience the world in its entirety.

If Danny could have one wish, his wish would be for other children and people affected by Autism to experience, enjoy and love life just as much as he does. That is why we’ve created Danny’s Wish, to help provide life enhancing resources and experiences for kids and families that deal with Autism and Autism related spectrum disorders.

Though dealing with Autism is a daily struggle that imposes many obstacles, it has never restricted Danny from trying to live life to his fullest. Danny shows us that we can look past the disability, and on to a bright future full of great opportunities and possibilities.

Help us make Danny’s Wish come true!

It’s all about giving.

And now a message from the president of "Danny's Wish", Danny's Father, Dino Sgueulia:

"Today, 1 in 150 children are diagnosed with Autism, making it more common than Pediatric Cancer, Juvenile Diabetes, Leukemia, Muscular Dystrophy and Pediatric AIDS combined. It occurs across all racial, ethnic, and social groups and is four times more likely to strike boys than girls. Scientists aren’t certain what causes Autism, but it’s likely that both genetics and environment play a role.

Danny’s Wish was created in honor of my son Danny, a fun loving boy with Autism. He struggles every day to lead a normal life and even communicate. As a parent, I face the daily frustration and pain which comes from coping with a child with this affliction. There is never a day that I don’t pray for a cure for Autism and the related spectrum disorders. My biggest wish is to hear my son tell me that he loves me – that will be worth more than anything in the world to me.

Autism has become the most serious and fastest growing developmental disability in the United States, but receives less than 5% of the total research funding of less prevalent childhood diseases. The rate of diagnosis is growing everyday – funding and research need to catch up.

Let’s spread the word about Autism."

If you want to learn more about "Danny's Wish" please check out our website http://www.dannyswish.org

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Famous/Successful People Who Have Autism

As we are getting to the end of "Autism Awareness Month" we thought it may be fun to visit a few some famous and successful people who have been diagnosed on the Austism Spectrum.

Daryl Hannah

American actress best known for her roles in Splash, Blade Runner and Kill Bill was diagnosed as a child as being 'borderline autistic', later to be diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome."

Her Awards Include:
* Best Short - The Berlin Film Festival "The Last Supper", 1994
* Best Fight - MTV Movie Awards Kill Bill Vol.2, 2005
* Best Supporting Actress - Saturn Award Kill Bill Vol. 2, 2004
* Best Actress - Saturn Award Splash, 1984
* Influencer Of The Year Award - National Biodiesel Board, 2004
* Ongoing Commitment Award - Environmental Media Award, 2004
* Environmental Activism - Water Quality Awards, 2006
* Environmental Preservation - Artivist Awards, 2006

Satoshi Tajiri

Japanese video game designer best known as the creator of Pokémon, and the founder of Game Freak
Tajiri has been named a video gaming innovator, and has made numerous lists of the top, best, or most influential video game developers. He has worked on numerous other games, including Pulseman. Tajiri has also been diagnosed with Asperger syndrome.

Jonathan Lerman

American autistic savant outsider artist. Jonathan Lerman began to lapse into long silences at the age of two, and the next year he was diagnosed with autism.

Lerman's artistic bent appeared at the age of 10 in the form of charcoal-drawn faces—both people he knows and those he imagines. In 1999 he had his own solo exhibition at the KS Art gallery in New York City.

Lerman has had personal exhibitions, and has also exhibited his work alongside others.

Lerman was also on the MTV television show True Life in the episode "True Life: I Have Autism"

Jonathan Lerman's remarkable artistic ability emerged quite unexpectedly at age 10. Already now, at age 14, Jonathan has had several art shows of his own, and a New York Times article on January 16, 2002 has given his work national visibility.

Just released is a very insightful book about Jonathan Lerman and his extraordinary art.

Heather Kuzmich

Indiana is an art student and American fashion model. She is best known for being a contestant of America's Next Top Model, Cycle 9, where she was the fourth runner-up of the show. During the show, it was revealed that Kuzmich has Asperger syndrome and ADHD.

Heather has signed to the women's division of Elite Model Management in Chicago. Heather also did a photoshoot for the July 2008 issue of Wedding Essentials which was featured on MTV's Made, where a young boy with Asperger followed her on set. Heather has modeled for the clothing company "Blue Eyed Girl". She has also appeared on the cover and inside of Spectrum Magazine, a magazine for families and individuals who have autism.

Kuzmich received great press attention due to her Asperger syndrome, including talk show appearances (such as being interviewed on Good Morning America and an article in The New York Times). She plans to continue modeling, while continuing her education at the Illinois Institute of Art located in Chicago. Kuzmich has appeared in People magazine twice, once in October 2007 and the second time in December 2007. She was recently one of the nine girls featured in America's Next Top Model: Exposed on the CW, during the filming of which she became close friend with Jael Strauss. She has also appeared twice on The Tyra Banks Show, once in a "Where are they now?" episode and for the Fiercee awards. She plans on moving to New York soon to pursue modeling.

Tim Page

A writer, editor, music critic, producer and professor. He was a Pulitzer Prize-winning music critic for the Washington Post and also played an essential role in the revival of American author Dawn Powell.

In August 2007 Page revealed in The New Yorker that he had been diagnosed with Asperger syndrome. His book-length memoir of his experience with the condition, Parallel Play: Growing Up With Undiagnosed Asperger's, was published by Doubleday in September 2009.

Monday, April 12, 2010

10 Great Books On Autism For All Ages

We are about half way through "Autism Awareness Month" and we thought it would be a fun idea to list a few great books about autism for you to share with friends, family and educators.

Here are 10 books we picked out for you to browse. There are books below for all ages, have fun, get reading and become aware!

1001 Great Ideas for Teaching and Raising Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders
For Adults
Check It Out Here
Read the Reviews Here

Ten Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew
For Adults
Check It Out Here
Read the Reviews Here

The Autism Acceptance Book: Being a Friend to Someone With Autism
Ages 9-12
Check It Out Here
Read the Reviews Here

A Is for Autism F Is for Friend: A Kid's Book for Making Friends with a Child Who Has Autism

Ages 9-12
Check It Out Here
Read the Reviews Here

Everybody Is Different: A Book for Young People Who Have Brothers or Sisters With Autism
Ages 9-12
Check It Out Here
Read The Reviews Here

Different Like Me: My Book of Autism Heroes
Ages 9-12
Check It Out Here
Read The Reviews Here

Since We're Friends: An Autism Picture Book
Ages 4-8
Check It Out Here
Read the Reviews Here

All About My Brother
Ages 4-8
Check It Out Here
Read the Reviews Here

I Am Utterly Unique: Celebrating the Strengths of Children with Asperger Syndrome and High-Functioning Autism
Ages 4-8
Check It Out Here
Read The Reviews Here

My Friend with Autism: A Coloring Book for Peers and Siblings
Ages 4-8
Check It Out Here
Read The Reviews Here

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

What You Can Do to Participate in "Autism Awareness Month"

April is “Autism Awareness Month” and many are out there every day, showing their support. I am sure you want to as well, but may not know how or what to do. Here are a few suggestions:

Put on the Puzzle!
The Autism Awareness Puzzle Ribbon is the most recognized symbol of the autism community in the world. Autism prevalence is now one in every 110 children in America – that’s 13 million families and growing who live with autism today. Show your support for people with autism by wearing the Autism Awareness Puzzle Ribbon this month – as a pin on your shirt, a magnet on your car, a badge on your blog, or even your Facebook profile picture – and educate folks on the potential of people with autism! For suggestions and resources, visit www.autism-society.org/ribbon.

Spread the word
Helping the autism community can be as easy as updating your Facebook or Twitter status! Check out our website: http://www.dannyswish.org, read our story and make a donation. Our mission is to help provide life enhancing resources and experiences for kids and families that deal with Autism and Autism related spectrum disorders.

Connect with your neighborhood
Check out the local events going on in your community. Reach out to someone you know who’s life is effected by Autism and plan an activity together. See if anything is going on at your local school district, and just be involved in those activities.

Watch a movie
Did you know that something that seems as simple as going to the movies is not an option for many families affected by autism? The Autism Society is working with AMC entertainment to bring special-needs families “Sensory Friendly Films” every month. The special showing of How to Train Your Dragon is coming to a theatre near you on April 10. Or, you could see a movie about autism itself – the Autism Society is partnering with the Independent Television Service (ITVS) to support 70 community screenings of the new movie The Horse Boy, based on the memoir of the same name. In the film, Rupert Isaacson shares the inspiring story of how he and his wife learned to think of their son’s autism as an adventure rather than a curse, a beginning rather than an end. Find participating locations for both events at:
- Sensory Friendly Films: www.autism-society.org/sensoryfilms